"First Train To Fairbanks"
Randall Compton, 2005

About The Artist

In his words, Randall Compton has been making a meager living as a Professional Artist for the past twenty-eight years! Seriously, this Fairbanks, Alaska resident is a member of the Society of Animal Artists and has twice been honored as Alaskan Artist of the Year by Ducks Unlimited. He has received international acclaim for his representations of Alaskan Landscapes and Wildlife, but he is most proud of the four fine children he and his wife have brought forth in this wilderness.

First Train To Fairbanks is his first work to feature an inanimate object. However, it is only natural since, before he began painting professionally, he was employed as a member of a Sled Gang and as a Gandy Dancer, by the Burlington Northern Railroad in Hannibal, Missouri. He entered some of his amateur paintings and sketches in a show in St. Louis, and found he could make more income from his hobby, so dropped his Spike Maul, picked up his brushes and canvas, and hasn't stopped since!

About the Painting

First Train To Fairbanks is a representation of Tanana Valley Railroad Engine #1, a Porter 0-4-0 Saddle Tank Locomotive, #1972. Engine #1 was the FIRST steam Locomotive in the Alaskan Interior, arriving in the Tanana Valley 100 years ago (July 4, 1905). On July 17, 1905, local dignataries drove the golden spike, linking the first trackage of the Railroad, between Chena and Fairbanks. The scene is similar to what local citizens may have observed as #1 pulled the train through the Chena Flats. The painting was commissioned by Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad, Inc., to celebrate the Centennial of the Tanana Valley Railroad, and 100 years of railroading in Fairbanks. Print sales income supports the operation of Engine #1.

Engine #1 was retired in the mid 1920s and placed on display, first near the ARR Train Station and then at the local community park. The Friends began restoring #1 in 1992 and had the little Loco back together, under Steam, in 1999, 100 years after it was first constructed and delivered to coal mines in the Yukon Territory, near Dawson. Today it can be found in its new Museum, occasionally puffing around the track at Pioneer Park. For additional Information such as FTVRR Membership, TVRR History, the Operating Schedule for Engine #1, TVRR Souvenirs, new museum hours of operation, etc., please check our website   www.ftvrr.org

FTVRR, Inc,   P.O. Box 84498,   Fairbanks, Alaska   99708

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